This post deals with suicide. It is devastatingly sad.
Here is a picture of Attorney Cheslie Kryst:
Attorney Kryst first made national news in May 2019 when she was crowned Miss USA. At the time, she was in private practice in North Carolina. I referenced the achievement in Question 5 of this #fiveforfriday legal ethics quiz, also noting Attorney Kryst’s pro bono work.
A few months later, Attorney Kryst’s firm announced her role in securing a sentence reduction for a pro bono client who had been sentenced to life in prison. Later that year, Insider noted that Attorney Kryst was far more than the stereotypical pageant winner, using her podium as Miss USA to advocate for social justice and changes to laws that resulted in long prison sentences for relatively low-level drug possession.
Upon leaving private practice, Cheslie started White Collar Glam, a site dedicated to assisting others to find “appropriate, affordable, professional clothing.” The project was inspired by Cheslie’s experience during a mock trial competition. Then, in 2020 and 2021, Cheslie received Emmy nominations for her work as reporter for Extra.
Cheslie died on Sunday.
Cheslie was 30 years old.
This is the third post in which I’ve referenced suicide and the legal profession. That’s three too many.
In the first, 108, I shared statistics that suggest that 108 Vermont lawyers with active licenses had serious thoughts of suicide in the previous year. In the next, Enough, I linked to the heartbreaking story of Gabe MacConnail and Joanna Litt, and urged us all to check in with others who we know are struggling.
We must continue the effort. We must work to ensure that everyone knows:
- It’s okay not to be okay.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
- Help is available.
May our efforts help to prevent a fourth blog post.
May Cheslie rest in peace.
If you need help:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255
- Vermont Crisis Text Line: Text “VT” to 741741
- Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
- Additional resources are here.
If you want to help others but don’t know how, start with my post Ask the Question.
Previous Wellness Wednesday Posts
- Wellness, Emotional Regulation, and the power of “What’s Important Now?”
- A lesson from my dad, Nandi, and The Foo Fighters: find & experience awe
- Ask the Question
- Wellness Wednesday: Set communication boundaries with clients & opposing counsel
- Yes, wellness includes the results of my first moot court competetion
- Wellness Wednesday: It’s okay to ask for help. Bar Assistance will listen and support you
- Wellness Wednesday: Set communication boundaries with clients and opposing counsel
- Wellness Wednesday: Compassion Fatigue
- Wellness Wednesday: A message from Justice Eaton
- Jessica Burke: “Well People Do”
- Wellness Wednesday: Schitt$ Creek and Paddles
- Wellness Wednesday: Be Kind to Lawyers
- Civility Matters. Especially Now.
- Coping with COVID-19 Related Stress & Anxiety
- Wellness Wednesday: Unplug
- Well-Being is an Aspect of Competence
- Wellness Wednesday: Survival Skills
- Wellness Wednesday: Make time for what (and who) matters
- Wellness Wednesday: Risk & Response
- Do summer your way
- Wellness Wednesday: Meet Alison, Shireen, Samantha, and Alison
- Reach Out, Check In
- Wellness Wednesday: Mentor Someone
- Wellness Wednesday: Joan Loring Wing
- Wellness Wednesday: Law Day & Pro Bono
- Get your sleep
- Take a Chance on Being Nice
- Attorney Wellness: We’ve Only Just Begun
- Be Kind to a Lawyer Today
- Be Nice to Someone Today
- Wellness v. Well-Being
- Wellness Wednesday: Meet Molly Gray
- Wellness Wednesday: Judge Garland & My Cousin Vinny
- Shakespeare, Pink Floyd and Wellness
- Wellness Wednesday: You are not an impostor
- Wellness Wednesday: “N O” is “O K”
- Wellness Wednesday: Stop it!
- Wellness Wednesday: Meet Jeff Messina
- Lawyers Helping Lawyers Part 2
- Lawyers Helping Lawyers: Keep it on the front burner
- Lawyer Well-Being: a call to action
- Anxiety, Stress & Work-Life Balance for Lawyers
- Make time for what matters
- Lawyer Wellness: resolve to find 6 minutes for yourself
- 108 is way too many
- Workplace Happiness
- Make Wellness a Habit
- A pledge by legal employers to focus on lawyer well-being
- Legal Ethics & the Water Cooler
- Wellness Wednesday: Island Vines
- Wellness Wednesday: on ponds, puffery and paltering
- Wellness Wednesday: Neil Diamond, the Lock Screen, and National Mental Health Day for Law Students